Category Archives: the boys

Before you brag.

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We’re all really proud of our kids’ accomplishments. I know that I am.

I try (not always successfully) to temper my instinct to tell the world about the amazing things my boys do. And believe me, they do a lot of amazing things. I’m sure yours do, too.

A moment that reminds me to stop and think about sharing…

One day, years back, we were driving down the road in the minivan. All the boys were in the back. One of them (I’ll protect his innocence though you have a 33.3333% chance of guessing correctly) said he was going to solve the Rubicks cube and then about 30 seconds later it was done. Done! It was remarkable. He was clearly a genius.

A genius, I say!

He handed us the cube. We gushed. We blushed. It was remarkable. I was about to call my mother (on my very modern flip phone) to share the news of our prodigy.

And then we realized he’d peeled off the stickers and re-placed them.

And then. We were glad we hadn’t called anyone and bragged. But secretly we were really pleased at his life skills. That he figured out how to most efficiently reach his goal of having each side of that darn cube be color coordinated.

I have to say that he’s gotten quite good at solving the cube in the ‘traditional’ way. But there is nothing wrong with being a little scrappy in this life. In fact, I have big respect for people who can figure out how to problem solve.

So yes, we were still proud. Just different proud.

1963 vs 2013

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photo credit sxc.hu miguelima

photo credit sxc.hu miguelima


It’s 2013 and I’m the mother of three teenage boys. You probably know that. If you don’t, I’ll tell you – my guys are 14, 16, and 18.

They are incredible. They’re absolutely perfect and can do no wrong and I love them exactly how they are. And I am not saying this because they sometimes read my blog.

At any rate, if you’re a mother or if you’re not, you must know that life has its challenges. Personally, I was stunned by the depth and breadth of physical challenges when the kids were younger and now that they’re older, the emotions and worry and to-the-core wholeness of the experience are mind-boggling sometimes. Well, often, actually.

As I was mind-numbingly surfing Facebook the other day, I saw my friends and my friends of friends and my acquaintances and my acquaintances of acquaintances sharing their minor and not so minor – and even really major experiences, fears and challenges. Some were hysterically funny. Some, frightening and frankly overwhelming,

I read the statuses and looked at the photos. I made some comments and clicked a lot of like buttons. A lot of like buttons. (I do think though that like isn’t always the right word, but that’s a conversation for another time, I suppose.)

I understood some of what these women shared. But some, I could never understand. I could be a friend, I could care, but I couldn’t really understand. Not all of it. But I could be a friend.

And these women? They’re always there with a like or a comment for me when I need it. You know?

But how was it for moms back in the day?

Sure, they talked on the phone more than we do. I imagine that my mom and her contemporaries had people to talk to and a great circle of confidants. But what about that 10:00 pm frustration? Who was there then? Or what if she had no one in her local circle with similar experiences? Who could relate?

We’re so immersed online, it’s easy take it for granted. But you know what? We’re lucky as can be. We can find our tribes – people with similar experiences – and people who are there for us any time night or day. The only cost for entry is caring back.

The Wheel.

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(just listen in the background, there’s nothing to see here folks…but a beautiful version circa 1977)

The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down,
You can’t let go and you can’t hold on,
You can’t go back and you can’t stand still,
If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will.

The wheel is turning. Oh my, the wheels are turning.

Andrew is making dinner. Soft shell crab and shrimp Po’ Boys, if you’re curious. I know, right? Don’t even tell me how lucky I am. I know.

So Andrew is making dinner. We were chatting. Our son took the car and left for the high school senior awards night.

I’m trying to let that sink in.

He took the car.

He’s graduating from high school. Next week.

I could post a picture of him when he was little here, but I’ll save that for a nice juxtaposition with his graduation photo. Hehe.

So the wheel is turning. So fast. So fast. I’m happy. I’m a wreck. I’m happy and a wreck. Reminds me of one of my favorite jokes:

Guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Help me! I’m a wigwam, I’m a teepee, I’m a wigwam, I’m a teepee.” And the shrink says, “Relax. You’re two tents.”

I know you already knew that one but I couldn’t resist.

I can’t really explain what it feels like to watch your child drive away. Those of you with older kids? I bet you know. It’s just the first domino. I’m so full of emotion. So full of emotion.

Is the kid ready for this? Ready to be so independent? Ready to move away? To be self-reliant? You bet he his. I’m bursting with pride. But that doesn’t make the tears stop.

source: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/mbylow source: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/mbylow%5B/caption%5D

Sunday in Paris

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No offense to you curling fans out there, but I find it very amusing to be in a hotel room in Paris watching the sport in German on TV while keeping my sick son company as my husband and other 2 sons venture out to a nice dinner. Aside from snacking on the amazing baguettes we picked up earlier, I plan to order the Japanese dinner from room service. And finish the bottle of wine Andrew & I started late this afternoon after my solo field trip to Marais. What an adventure.

This morning, I hung back with the sick one when the rest of the guys visited Versailles. They loved it. And afterward, I took them to find a pharmacy & to a really nice (and very French/not touristy) lunch.

Now, I’ll look for a pay-per-view movie to watch with the kid – assuming I can bring myself to switch the channel from the curling.

1+1+1=3

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Before I was a mother, it never occurred to me that I could have three sons that were so different. Truth be told, it never occurred to me that I could have three sons. But that’s not the point.

My guys. Each is pretty terrific, but boy, oh, boy, are they different from each other.

Sure, there are similarities. And yes, they have lots and lots and lots of traits that we call “Goldman” or “Scherer.” It’s funny to see my father’s mannerisms in my boys. Or my father-in-law’s. Because I promised them I wouldn’t embarrass them TOO much, I won’t go into too much detail here, but suffice it to say that the apples do not fall that far from the trees.

So here I am. With three big boys.

For those of you with little kids, let me tell you a few things that may frighten or surprise you.

  1. I hear the voices of men and then realize it’s my kids. Freaky.
  2. They still sometimes need me in the middle of the night. Case in point – huge nose bleed at 2am yesterday.
  3. It’s harder to kiss and hug a 6 foot, 150 pound kid than a preschooler. Sometimes, I end up kissing a neck or something and it’s weird.
  4. Huge kids still need to cuddle when their sick. They just make you a lot hotter and squishier.
  5. Even big kids thrive on a schedule and clear expectations.
  6. They eat a lot at this size. A lot.
  7. Dinner is never boring.
  8. They read and learn things that they can share with us. It’s fascinating and wonderful.
  9. When you lecture them, there’s a window of attention. Exceed it and you get the glaze. You know the glaze, right?
  10. With three, there’s always an odd man out. In our case, it shifts.. so it’s always a surprise.

I was with some young kids the other day and I got the twinge. You know the one. The I wish. The I remember. The wasn’t it special? 

But I wouldn’t go back.

No way.

So this summer? Overnight camp for two in the mountains. Leadership camp for one in Wisconsin. Driving lessons for another. College visits and essays and portfolios to review.

Keeps me on my toes.

I may have said this recently, but it’s worth repeating.

I love my life.

So long. Farewell.

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This was a big day for me. A big emotional day.

I don’t know why I’m weepy. Really, I don’t. Surely it’s not because of the sappy 8th grade slide show which ran for THIRTY SEVEN MINUTES and yes, I did time it.

This was my third 8th Grade Farewell. The first one was emotional, I admit. (Though the long slide show was not my thing then, either.) The second one? Our kid was in Jazz Band and they were rocking. Big time. So that was fun. But the slide show? Still way too long and sappy for my taste.

So tonight. Tonight, our next kid was in Jazz Band and they were rocking. (Sense a theme here?) And yes, the slide show was way too long and sappy for me. But this year was different.

First of all, this kid was the Bandmaster. He stood confidently and led the Jazz Band with Isabelle. They were incredible. I was kvelling. And then, he played his tenor sax and I was blown away. Not just because I’m him mom, but because I could hear the growth in his music. He stood there tall and proud. With his Fedora and his green shirt and yellow tie and he was just…

Big. Mature. Serious. Funny. Charming.

But me being proud of my baby is not the point of this post. So what is?

I’m a little emotional (okay, a lot but don’t judge me).

These sorts of milestones make me look back. To take stock. to remember. I know it’s super corny, but it seems like just yesterday that I’d take my 3 little boys to Target at 6:00 am so that Andrew could sleep in on Saturday after a long week of work (he’d do the same for me on Sunday). I’d get that cart with the 2 red seats attached to the cart for my toddler and preschooler and the seat in the cart for the baby and I’d walk up and down every – single – aisle – in Target. We walked through the shoes department. The women’s clothing. The workout clothes. The detergents. The toys. The hardware. Sheets. Appliances.

SLOWLY. Because, you know, I didn’t want to go home for at least 2 hours. That’s a long time in Target when there’s really nothing on the list except killing time.

And it was worth it. Because as I cruised the housewares, I daydreamed of the next morning. The morning when I got to sleep in the quiet, empty house and Andrew got to figure out how to occupy the 3 boys under 4 for a couple hours.

Ahhhh. Sleep. So delicious. The unattainable. Tomorrow. If I could just wait until tomorrow.

But now, as I look back with my boys at 17, 15, and 13, I just want to say one thing:

It was totally worth the lost sleep.

I’m grateful that I remember every minute of the road to now. And I’m grateful for such happy and loving sons.

I’m not saying there’s no fighting or (ahem) issues over here. But we have a pretty amazingly, awesome life. And I wouldn’t trade anything for my guys. They are the joy of Andrew’s and my life.

Though it’s emotional that they’ll all be in high school next year and that I can see the future where they’ll all be gone, I’m a happy and proud mom.

Just let me cry a little bit and I’ll be okay.

Why?

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While in the crowded waiting room at an appointment with my guys today, I noticed a beautiful young girl sitting next to her father. He was redlining a huge document. He had a serious and deliberate look on his face. Page by page he made corrections. Scribbling notes. Flipping the page. Furiously working.

I was checking email. Voicemail. After all, it was during work hours and, though I hadn’t stopped for lunch, I was feeling guilty for taking the half hour to attend to the boys’ dental needs.

I heard the dad say, “I have too much work to do.”

And then, the girl’s whisper stopped me in my tracks.

Why don’t you just tell them, “no?”

And then, without even looking up, he answered. His response was like a punch in the stomach. “I’m responsible for everything. You just don’t understand.”

And I think he was right. She didn’t. She sat, staring ahead. Holding back tears.

I am not going to sit here (while my kids want my attention) and say that I won’t ignore them, work too hard, take on too much.

I probably will.

But this will stick with me. And I’ll keep working on being more present and more available.

50 lessons and 50 blessings.

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What is it about big milestones that make us want to make lists?

I was planning to write about 50 lessons I’ve learned over the years and tell you about 50 blessings in my life.

I’m sure I’ve learned more than 50 things and I can assure you I have more than 50 wonderful things and people in my life.

Instead, I’m going to go all minimalist here.

I’m grateful for all the people who have taught me anything – good or bad.
I’m grateful for the people who love me. And for the people I love. I think there’s a lot of overlap there.
I’m grateful for knowledge. And for being told I’m wrong so I can try harder.
I’m over the moon grateful for my sons. And my husband.
And for the ones who’ve stuck by me no matter what.

I’m thankful for the 9am phone calls. I’m thankful for the peace in my home.
I’m thankful for my work, which I love. And the clients who trust me.

It never occurred to me that I’d be 50 one day.

Crazy, I know.

But here I am.

And I’m grateful for where I’ve been and I can’t wait to see where I go.

Lucky.

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I read a lot of blog posts every day. And a lot of articles and tweets and Facebook updates. Needless to say, it can be overwhelming.

Much of what I’ve read the past few days have made me stop and think about who I am online versus who I am to my family and closest friends. Am I doing right by the ones who love me most of all?

It’s easy to get caught up. To play that one more game of WWF. To read that last post, to laugh at that thread.

I want to be in my life.

You see, I have a wonderful life. Amazing and independent and thinking teenage boys. A husband who worships the ground I walk on. Friends who would never ask why and just show.

I’m not a religious person, but I look forward to the Jewish New Year. It’s a time to reflect on the mistakes of the year passed and look ahead to do better. I appreciate that time. To stop. To think.

September is a time of transition. From summer to fall. From happy-go-lucky to school.

And I’m ready to thoughtfully move into the next season. But I secretly yearn for the next summer to roll around.